Wednesday, 16 February 2011

BUGGINS TURN- What is the morality of art and awards?

Ever since the Jews were made to play Mozart at the doors of the gas chambers by Nazi's, we have had to wonder whether Art had any moral purpose. Yes, it can be used for propaganda and for pleasure (evil or otherwise) but to make a better world?
We should stop genuflecting ...
One way we pay homage to all these great artists is through awards ceremonies. Now, I love Oscars, Baftas etc...but often people win awards that should be for other works that they have done, and not the piece that they are winning for...Let's take Colin Firth, he should have won best actor last year for A single man, in which he plays a gay man convincingly when he is straight.  He was brilliant.  Equally he was good in a Girl with a Pearl Earring.  It seems to me that the award goes to the person who has done the greatest body of work.  Alexandre Desplat's best work this year, as he is prolific, is in my opinion  The Ghost Writer, which is a very reasonable film and is made by his brilliant feisty score,  but of course due to political reasons of Polanski's criminal past, the film is totally ignored except by the French for the Cesar.
BUT...buggin's turn let's not pretend it's about talent  and honesty. If it was.Then Polanski, should be in gaol with an Oscar on his bunk. Which brings me back to the worthiness of real art and artists.  Indeed the work of the contemporary art world, film, writers and music is full of talented artists. But what does it all mean if it is not honest.  I admire Harvey Weinstein and his choice in producing The Kings Speech, it is a wonderful film based on a simple story of whether a man can lose his stutter or not and we know the answer.  Is it  the best film, I am not sure, it is a good film with very good acting, script, wardrobe, music, but let's start being truthful? -  Being politically correct often overlooks work that should win..
If we are honest we could make the world a better place with music.  My last comment sort of says it all, Oliver Cromwell banned all music but had the organ installed in his house so he could listen to it on a regular basis!

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